The Space In Between
Have you ever found yourself in the space in between hopeful expectation and a reality that seeks to pry your fingers loose from the tentative hold they have on to hope? Maybe that promotion at work you anticipated getting was awarded to another and now you are left to sit in bitter disillusionment. Or a relationship that you’ve invested so much in is falling apart. The addiction that no matter how hard you fight to rise above, just keeps pulling you under. That miracle you’ve been praying for years for feels like it is falling on deaf ears and as you wait, your hopeful expectancy is dwindling in the exasperating silence.
I’m sure we have all been there at one time or another in our lives—I know I have.
As Easter Sunday approaches I find myself reflecting on this space in between. And I wonder if Jesus’ disciples found themselves there too that grim night when Jesus was arrested then crucified the next day. All their hopeful expectations that they’d had in Jesus died with him when he breathed his last on that cross. They found themselves in the space in between where devastating grief caused them to forget things promised—resurrection. Resurrection seemed not only improbable—after all, they’d seen him die—but impossible.
Let’s go back in time just a bit.
For a little over three years, they spent every day with Jesus. They ate with him, traveled with him, heard each parable and lesson. They witnessed all his miracles—the healing of lepers, blind men receiving their sight, the lame walking, and a dead man being raised to life1. They were there when he turned the water to wine2, watched him walk on water3 and calm the storm4. They served the 50005 and the 40006, plus women and children, out of the abundance Jesus miraculously created from just five loaves of bread and two fish and then seven loaves, and a few small fish with leftovers each time. They knew him more intimately than anyone else, yet, they still didn’t fully understand who Jesus was.
When they were walking high on the mountaintop in the glory of his miracles, they thought they knew who Jesus was, but when they were plummeted into the valley where the shadows stretch long, they lost sight of truth— the same way we can—and found themselves in the space in between hopeful expectation and grim reality. Fear superseded faith so when Jesus was arrested, they ran.
So this begs the question, also we must ask ourselves the same; Was their faith—and is ours—in who Jesus is, or is it in what he can do?Tweet
Who Is Jesus?
After Jesus’ horrific death by crucifixion, the disciples sat together, filled with terror, behind locked doors for two long, restless and sleepless nights. Maybe you, like me, can relate to the disciples here in this moment when in their devastation and grief, everything Jesus had told them about who he was—how he had to suffer and die for the forgiveness of sins7 and that he would be raised to life after three days defeating death once and for all for all who follow him8—they forgot.
Until hope dawned on the third day.Tweet
“Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. Then the angel spoke to the women. ‘Don’t be afraid!’ he said. ‘I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.’” (Matthew 28:1-7 NLT)
The Good News
Jesus is alive and his resurrection ensures that we have hope and we don’t have to stay in the space in between.Tweet
Will we still face setbacks? Yes. Will we still deal with grief? Yes. Trials? Guaranteed. But, we can know beyond the shadow of a doubt that he is greater than any disappointment, setback, addiction, or disease! Because of Jesus, the space in between doesn’t have to be filled with hopelessness. Instead, allow it to draw you nearer to the One who seeks to give you resurrection hope. And there, we can meet any challenge that comes our way with our faith firmly rooted in who Jesus is.
- Sent by God as a sacrifice for us. (John 17:1-3)
- The Messiah (Matthew 1:16)
- Our salvation. (Acts 4:11-13)
- The way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6)
- The light of the world. (John 8:12)
- The good shepherd. (John 10:11-18)
- The true vine. (John 15:1-17)
- The bread of life. (John 6:35)
- The resurrection and the life. (John 11:25)
And so much more…I encourage you to read through the book of John throughout this week as Easter Sunday approaches.